From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Creative Writing and the Olympics

With the Olympics going on, I was thinking about the chasm between the world of athletics and the world of literature/art and how it maybe it doesn't need to be as big of a gap as it is right now. There are definitely things we writers can learn from the world of athletics, the Olympics in particular.

Inspiration. Sports can provide direct creative material, like if you wrote a story about an Olympian or a wannabe pro athlete. Maybe you know an athlete and their stories and characters can inspire your next piece.

Determination. Think of how much time and effort these Olympians have put into their sport. Basically their entire life. Thats the only way they have gotten where they are, and if we want to be the "olympians" of literature, we should expect to have to do the same thing. Of course they are different things, and I'm not saying we need to train for ten hours every day. But we need to be doing something every day, and thinking of new and creative ways to expand our career, and hone our craft, and everything else writers have to do.

Marketing. This one is a little more complex, and I would love to hear your ideas on it. But what I mean is that maybe we can take marketing and promotion lessons from the NFL, NBA, etc. Commercials, target audience, stuff like that. Look at what they do and see how you could creatively apply it to marketing your work. I mean, Golf has a huge, almost cult following. Why? How? Is it because its a game that tons of people play, so tons of people can relate? If so, find a way to apply this to your writing career: create something everyone can feel a part of. Remember baseball cards? Yeah, something like that. I can't get very specific here, because this is very dependent on your individual work and personality. Be creative and find what works for you. And think about this: Does Tiger Woods have a cult following because he's a golfing heavyweight, or is he a golf heavyweight because he has a cult following? The answer is probably yes...but learn from it.

What are your thoughts? Do you think writers have anything to learn from athletes? Hope this helps, and enjoy the Olympics!

Sarah Allen

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